Name: Sarah Morwood
I started running around 10 years ago when I was a size 18 with the aim of losing weight whilst avoiding dieting. Pottered around for a few years and then in 2012 upped my game to take on a marathon In 2013 I signed up for Bolton Ironman, and also tried my first ultra (Jurassic Coast Challenge). I won my age category at the Ironman, qualifying for Kona and won the JCC. This is when I found that this body was made for distance not speed!
By the end of 2013 I’d done my first 100 miler (Cotswold Way 100) and fallen madly in love with long distance running. In 2014, revelling in my new-found skill, I entered races left right and centre. By the end of the year (among a whole host of shorter races from half marathon up to 100km) I’d done 4 x 100 mile races including the UTMB (won 3 of the 100 milers, and 11th overall at the UTMB despite no previous mountain experience) and my 100 mile time had gone from 20 to 17 hours. I was selected to run for GB in the 2015 World Trail Championships where I came in first British female. At the end of 2015 I’d dropped my 100 mile time to 16 hour 13mins, and I tried my first 24 hour race, 24hr De Ploeren, where I clocked 216km, giving me an automatic Spartathlon qualification, and lining me up for a place in the 2016 GB 24hour squad.
Then in January 2016 everything went wrong. I was knocked off my road bike by a dangerous driver, and smashed my right knee to pieces. Cue 3x operations to fix the bone, 2.5months non-weight bearing, loss of over 90% of muscle in my right leg and a LONG long period of sadness, fear, frustration and rehab, rehab, rehab.
It’s taken me a year to get back to ultramarathon distance, and I now run with constant right knee pain, but ultramarathon runners are nothing if not stubborn. I can run, so I will run! All the way to Sparta.